HOUSTON – The video is horrific as mangled metal and shoes are reminders that four HISD students were on a school bus when it careened off the South Loop Tuesday morning. Mariya Johnson, 17, and Janecia Chatman, 14, didn’t make it.
But 17-year-old twins Brandon and Lakeisha Williams survived. Their mother says she watched the news last night and saw the wreck from which her children were rescued.
Ella Williams says crying, “God had his hands on my children.”
The twins are recovering in the ICU at Texas Children’s Hospital. Right now, doctors aren’t sure when they’ll be able to go home.
Margaret Barbary, a family friend, says, “They have some broken bones. Keisha had surgery, which was very successful.”
Ella adds, “Brandon is in very good spirits. Keisha hasn’t been able to talk to us, but she is able to squeeze our hands.”
Williams explains that she found about the crash the same other victims’ families did and that was my a robocall. Mariya Johnson’s parents played a voicemail of that robocall Tuesday night at a press conference when they announced plans to file a wrongful death suit.
The woman behind the wheel of the bus, Louisa Pacheco, is already out of the hospital. HISD says she had a clean driving record and has been with the district for three years. Tuesday morning, she was taking the students to the campus shared by REACH Charter School and Furr High School. Emotions continue to run high there.
Montrell Marshall says, “When I first heard it, it took a toll on me. ” Another student added, “It’s really sad because they were here and now they’re gone.”
They may be gone, but they are far from forgotten.